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Calculating your "Water Footprint" - Does conserving mean more beer and less clothing?

A journalist at the Wall Street Journal, Alexandra Alter, recently wrote an article titled "Yet Another 'Footprint' to Worry About: Water". Companies concerned about water rationing (and who have been burned by it in the past) are now tracking water use patterns to find more efficient ways of using this resource vital to life, manufacturing and production, and so can you! (see below)

In the article, Alex writes "It takes roughly 20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer, as much as 132 gallons of water to make a 2-liter bottle of soda, and about 500 gallons, including water used to grow, dye and process the cotton, to make a pair of Levi's stonewashed jeans. Though much of that water is replenished through natural cycles, a handful of companies have started tracking such "water footprints" as a growing threat of fresh-water shortages looms. Some are measuring not just the water used to make beverages and cool factories, but also the gallons used to grow ingredients such as cotton, sugar, wheat, tea and tomatoes. The drive, modeled partly on carbon footprinting, a widely used measurement of carbon-dioxide emissions, comes as groundwater reserves are being depleted and polluted at unsustainable rates in many regions."

I guess it reasons to follow that if we are serious about conservation, we ought to drink more beer and wear fewer clothes.

Click Here to read the whole article and view interactive graphics.
Water Footprint Calculator for your own customized water footprint!

And finally, a novel way to conserve water.